1 I am Joel the son of Pethuel. And this is the message the Lord gave to me.
Locusts Cover the Land
2 Listen, you leaders and everyone else in the land. Has anything like this ever happened before? 3 Tell our children! Let it be told to our grandchildren and their children too.
4 Swarm after swarm of locusts[a] has attacked our crops, eating everything in sight. 5 Sober up, you drunkards! Cry long and loud; your wine supply is gone. 6 A powerful nation[b] with countless troops has invaded our land. They have the teeth and jaws of powerful lions. 7 Our grapevines and fig trees are stripped bare; only naked branches remain.
8 Grieve like a young woman mourning for the man she was to marry. 9 Offerings of grain and wine are no longer brought to the Lord’s temple. His servants, the priests, are deep in sorrow. 10 Barren fields mourn; grain, grapes, and olives are scorched and shriveled.
11 Mourn for our farms and our vineyards! There’s no wheat or barley growing in our fields. 12 Grapevines have dried up and so has every tree— figs and pomegranates,[c] date palms and apples. All happiness has faded away.
Return to God
13 Mourn, you priests who serve at the altar of my God. Spend your days and nights wearing sackcloth.[d] Offerings of grain and wine are no longer brought to the Lord’s temple.
14 Tell the leaders and people to come together at the temple. Order them to go without eating[e] and to pray sincerely. 15 We are in for trouble! Soon the Lord All-Powerful will bring disaster. 16 Our food is already gone; there’s no more celebrating at the temple of our God.
17 Seeds dry up in the ground;[f] no harvest is possible. Our barns are in bad shape, with no grain to store in them. 18 Our cattle wander aimlessly, moaning for lack of pasture, and sheep are suffering.[g] 19 I cry out to you, Lord. Grasslands and forests are eaten by the scorching heat. 20 Wild animals have no water because of you; rivers and streams are dry, and pastures are parched.
1.4Swarm. . . locusts: The Hebrew text lists either four kinds of locusts or locusts in four stages of their development. Locusts are a type of grasshopper that comes in swarms and causes great damage to plant life.
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